It is a serious objection to all theories of multiple universes that they violate Occam’s razor. They invent a fantastically complicated set of circumstances to explain a single case when there is a much simpler, more obvious explanation right at hand. Yes, I am referring to the third possible response to the anthropic principle. It says, quite simply, that our universe is designed for life because someone designed it that way. The Designer Universe approach has this benefit: you don’t need to make up the idea of a hundred billion universes that you know nothing about in order to account for the only universe you can possibly experience. Yet this third response seems to be anathema to some people, and here we see how strongly modern atheism relies on “New Age dreaming.”

Physicist Stephen Hawking falls right into the New Age trap. As we saw in the previous chapter, Hawking recognizes that the evidence of the Big Bang and the anthropic principle point directly to a creator. However, he seems eager to have a different explanation. Recently he has advanced a proposal no less outlandish that that of an infinity of universes. Hawking’s solution begins with the mathematical concept of “imaginary time.” The distinguishing feature of imaginary time is that it requires no past, no present, and no future. Time is viewed merely as a dimension of space. In his book A Brief History of Time, Hawking uses imaginary time, together with quantum fluctuations in which literally anything can happen, to postulate multiple universes, all of which have no spatial or temporal boundaries. He envisions universes coming into being as baby universes popping out of wormholes in other universes. The reason none of this can be witnessed, as you may have surmised by now, is that it all occurs in imaginary time. Hawking triumphantly notes that because he has dispensed with a time dimension for universes he has also dispensed with the notion of a beginning, and as there is no beginning, there is no need for a creator.